Friday, May 22, 2015

3 Better Finales for the ‘Forevermore' Soap

I get it.

The romantic comedy drama ‘Forevermore’ about young love, which had blossomed in the cold foggy mountains in Benguet, was a huge hit. For the average Filipino viewer, the show has all the elements of a feel good night treat – beautiful mestizo/mestiza cast,  picturesque setting, the underdog vs. powerful conflict, third parties, and a bit of comic relief (thanks mostly to Bangky and that cute kid). Undeniably, we can’t blame the women in the house and the neighborhood for usurping the television every night, to the men’s errr... ‘prejudice’.

With all the anticipation of a promised great ending, the drama finale, unfortunately, turned out to be no more than a corny, half-baked, and poorly written script to convince us that the “forevermore” title was justified in the end. “That’s it?” the young kid in our neighborhood mused. Yup, Xander shouts “may forever pala!” and automatically there is forever. Somehow, it felt forced.

The favorite hobby of most men when women watch soap operas is to pester them; give common predictions, criticize the characters’ sloppy lines, point out errors in the story line continuity – it is in this moments that men shine to momentarily become art and TV show critics, philosophers, and what have you, all to convince the women to switch the channel to the NBA highlights.

Fortunately or unfortunately, we watched most or some parts of it, and we can only imagine alternative endings that will save the story in our minds. Here are three better (or perhaps outrageous) finales (at least for the average guy) for the undoubtedly successful and engrossing show:

1.    Xander and Alex (Erich) got married and had babies, while Agnes went on to have a family of her own and successful career in Japan.

-          After 30 years or so, they will unexpectedly meet each other in La Presa (with older faces and talk about the places they’ve been…yup, that ‘maybe this time’ song haha). They won’t rekindle their romance, however, since they already have families of their own. But they do talk for the longest time, reminiscing the past (with flashback effects). Then, they part ways without glancing back and realize (maybe through narration) that what they “had” many years ago is pure love and will never fade ‘forevermore’.

2.    Xander and the La Presa people found out that the drained water-supply was caused by a certain politician who excavated a whole mountain, violence erupted and Xander died protecting Agnes.

-          I’m not a bit happy for how the writers seem to have defended an environmental rapist. The least that they could’ve done is to show the importance of watersheds in relation to the water supply. Maybe, connect them somehow to the soap villains as conspirators to the crime. The hoodlums of the politician drove them away with violence (just like the real news), and superman (Xander) is there for the rescue, sacrificing his life to protect Agnes. After 30 years, a married Agnes visits Xander’s grave admitting that her love for him will always be there. That, it is true love ‘forevermore’.

3.    Agnes lost her memory in an accident in the forest. From then, Xander spends forevermore loving, and reminding her that their love is forever.

-          Agnes who got lost in the forest (ironically) hit her head and wandered around without memory. She was later found by Xander and the La Presa people unconscious. The damage was done, she suffers from anterograde amnesia (like the 50 first date movie) waking up every day thinking that Xander betrayed her. Of course, Xander will spend forever convincing and showing Agnes that he really loves her ‘forevermore’.

Anyone who have read or watched a Nicholas Sparks’ work would understand what I am driving in to. Sometimes, tragedy can romanticize everything. Sometimes, loss and misery can make stories more realistic and beautiful.

However I also understand why most TV soaps would not dare to have any of these as their finale. Maybe it is not that the scriptwriters lack talent, but maybe they are only giving what the population want – a fairytale ending where the protagonists live happily ever after and villains go to jail.

For the common Filipino people, there is already too much drama, loss, and tragedy in their real lives, too much bad news in the media, too much stress and pressure in work, and to pile more to their psyche may bury them to depression. They need a happy convenient ending, regardless of how senseless it will be, because most of the time  they only turn the box for one thing --- to make them feel better.